Expectations for economic growth in America have improved significantly, with panelists of the National Association of Business Economics (Nabe) becoming increasingly optimistic.
Industry demand increased for a sixth consecutive quarter during the final three months of last year. While 55% of survey panelists reporting rising demand, 12% reported falling demand.
One in five panelists are building business plans based on an outlook of 3-4% growth and 62% assumes real GDP growth of 2% to 3% this year.
Profit margins expanded for a sixth quarter in a row as 38% of panelists reported that margins rose at their firm, compared to 18% reporting declining profitability. (article continues below)
Employment continues to improve, with 34% of companies reporting larger workforces compared to 13% a year ago. The share of firms cutting jobs shrank, from an average of 13% over the past three quarters to 6%.
In addition, capital spending increased in the fourth quarter, along with expectations for future capital expenditure.
More than half of the respondents say some portion of their sales came from foreign-based operations, with 14% reporting more than half of their sales were from foreign sources.